The Growing Student: Sex, Drugs and … Health?

woman laughing beside woman smiling sitting on tufted sofa inside the room

With a busy schedule of partying, experimenting, disobeying their parents, further experimenting, and (of course) receiving a 4.0-grade average, a student tends to forget perhaps the most important aspect of living—health.

Taking into consideration the rising numbers of smoking, pregnancy, drug use, alcohol consumption, malnutrition, and obesity among young adults, it seems appropriate now more than ever for a student to receive proper, quality health insurance. This demographic tends to live invincibly. Many believe themselves to be indestructible, as though nothing dangerous can happen to them, even while staring danger in the face. This vicarious attitude may add an intended flavor to their lives, but it’s almost as if an overdose could lead to poison.

Debauchery in Numbers

So they wear the shortest skirts, drive the fastest cars, and eat the greasiest pizzas. What are the numbers saying about teens and young adults?

  • SMOKING: A third of all smokers began smoking at age 14. Almost ninety percent of all smokers began smoking at age 21.
  • PREGNANCY: In the United States, one in ten babies is born from a teen mother. Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.
  • DRUGS: On an average day, 586,000 adolescents used marijuana, about 49,000 adolescents used inhalants, 27,000 used hallucinogens (e.g., Ecstasy and other club drugs), 13,000 used cocaine, and 3,800 used heroin.
  • ALCOHOL: Among persons aged 18- to 22-years-old, 18 percent of full-time undergraduates were heavy drinkers compared with 12 percent of those who were not full-time undergraduates.
  • MALNUTRITION: About one out of every one hundred young women between ten and twenty are starving themselves, sometimes to death. Four percent of college-aged women have bulimia. One percent of female adolescents have anorexia. Researchers at Harvard University Medical School have new data that suggests that up to 25 percent of adults with eating disorders are male.
  • OBESITY: About 31 percent of American teenage girls and 28 percent of boys are somewhat overweight. An additional 15 percent of American teen girls and nearly 14 percent of teen boys are obese.

In the United States, approximately three-fourths of all deaths among persons aged 10-24 years result from only four causes: motor-vehicle crashes, other unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide. There are several options of low-cost student health insurance available, and it is much better to be safe than to be sorry.